Armpit rash is a common yet uncomfortable problem many men face. It can be triggered by various health conditions, from simple skin irritations to complex disorders like Hidradenitis Suppurativa.

In this blog post, we'll demystify the top causes of armpit rash and give you practical treatment options for each cause. Get ready to bid farewell to your underarm troubles!


Understanding Armpit Rash in Men

Armpit rash in men refers to an irritation or inflammation that affects the skin under the arms. It can present as red, itchy patches, bumps or blisters and may lead to discomfort due to itching or pain.

One common cause of armpit rashes in men is contact dermatitis which occurs when the skin comes into direct contact with irritants such as soaps, fragrances, and deodorants.

Another health condition that leads to armpit rash is Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS). In this case, painful lumps form in areas where sweat glands are prevalent like the armpits. These lumps often rupture causing a discharge of pus which can result in scarring over time.

Folliculitis is another culprit behind armpit rashes among men. Often triggered by shaving too close to the skin, folliculitis causes inflamed hair follicles appearing as small red bumps or white-headed pimples around hair follicles.



Common Causes of Armpit Rash

Contact dermatitis, Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS), Folliculitis, Acanthosis Nigricans (AN), Intertrigo, Inverse Psoriasis, Ringworm, Cutaneous Candidiasis (Yeast), Heat Rash (Prickly Heat), and Cutaneous Lymphoma are some common causes of armpit rash in men.


Contact Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis presents as one of the primary reasons for armpit rash in men. This skin condition occurs when allergens or irritants like soap, fragrances, or certain deodorant ingredients come into contact with the skin.

Direct exposure to these substances causes an allergic reaction marked by itchy, red, and blistered rashes.

Treatment for contact dermatitis often involves over-the-counter creams and prescription treatments. Anti-inflammatory creams can effectively manage itching and inflammation caused by this health condition.

In more severe cases of irritant or allergic contact dermatitis, doctors may prescribe topical steroid creams, PDE4 inhibitors or calcineurin inhibitors. Additional treatment protocols may include Phototherapy or biologic medications.


Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS)

Hidradenitis Suppurativa, commonly referred to as HS, is a chronic condition that frequently affects the armpits. This inflammatory skin issue often begins with small, painful bumps filled with pus.

Over time these can develop into larger nodules and may rupture, causing fluid and pus to leak out. HS varies in severity from person to person. Depending on how severe the condition is, treatment options range from topical cleansers and antibiotics to oral medications and even surgical procedures.

It's worth noting that this prevalent health problem tends to affect women more than men, particularly African American cisgender females.



Folliculitis is a condition marked by the infection of hair follicles, often occurring in the armpits. Men may experience this due to shaving very close to the skin, which creates an entryway for bacteria.

Avoiding shaving altogether or applying topical steroids can alleviate symptoms while some severe cases might require antibiotics. Laser hair removal offers another option that reduces the chances of recurring infections.


Acanthosis Nigricans (AN)

Acanthosis Nigricans (AN) is a condition that causes dark and thickened patches of skin, particularly in the armpit area. It can be associated with common causes of armpit rash, such as irritation, chafing, and eczema.

Underlying factors like obesity and hormonal disorders can contribute to the development of AN. In fact, this condition is often linked to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Treatment for AN may involve the use of topical retinoids and addressing underlying factors like weight loss or blood sugar control.



Intertrigo is a common skin condition that causes an itchy or burning rash. It occurs when the skin in moist and warm areas, like the armpits, rubs against itself. This friction can lead to inflammation and irritation of the skin folds.

To treat intertrigo, it's important to keep the affected area cool and dry. Using antibiotic or antifungal creams can help fight any infection present, while topical steroids or drying agents can provide relief from itching and discomfort associated with intertrigo.


Inverse Psoriasis

Inverse psoriasis is a common skin condition that often affects the armpits. It is characterized by smooth, red patches of inflamed skin that can be itchy and painful. This type of psoriasis occurs in skin folds where there is increased friction and moisture.

To treat inverse psoriasis, topical corticosteroids can be applied to reduce inflammation. Calcineurin inhibitors may also be used to suppress the immune response and relieve symptoms.

In some cases, phototherapy, which involves exposing the affected area to controlled amounts of ultraviolet light, may be recommended for treating inverse psoriasis.



Ringworm is a common fungal infection that can cause a ring-like rash in the armpit area. It is one of the main factors responsible for armpit rashes. The rash caused by ringworm can be red, scaly, itchy, and swollen.

To treat armpit rashes caused by ringworm, antifungal creams are often recommended. These creams help alleviate the symptoms and clear up the infection. If you suspect you have ringworm or are experiencing an armpit rash, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.


Cutaneous Candidiasis (Yeast)

Cutaneous candidiasis, also known as yeast infection, is a common cause of armpit rash. It can result in itchy, swollen, scaly, and red rashes in the armpit area. These symptoms are caused by an overgrowth of Candida albicans, a type of fungus that naturally lives on our skin.

Treatment for cutaneous candidiasis may involve over-the-counter creams or prescription treatments depending on the severity and cause of the rash. It's important to seek medical advice if you suspect you have a yeast infection in your armpit to receive appropriate treatment.


Heat Rash (Prickly Heat)

Heat rash, also known as prickly heat, is a type of armpit rash that occurs due to exposure to heat and sweat. It typically presents as small red bumps or blisters on the skin. Heat rash can be uncomfortable and itchy.

Keeping the skin folds cool and dry is important for treating heat rash. This can be achieved by staying in a cool environment, wearing loose clothing, and using drying agents such as talcum powder.

Antibiotic or antifungal creams may also be used to reduce inflammation and prevent infection. Topical steroids can help relieve itching and inflammation associated with heat rash.


Cutaneous Lymphoma (Skin Lymphoma)

Cutaneous lymphoma, also known as skin lymphoma, is a type of cancer that affects the skin. It can manifest as an armpit rash and may be associated with various common causes such as contact dermatitis, hidradenitis suppurativa, folliculitis, acanthosis nigricans, or intertrigo.

Treatment options for armpit rash caused by cutaneous lymphoma may include topical cleansers, antibiotics, oral medications, and surgical procedures. It's important to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan.



Treatments for Armpit Rash

Medical treatments and home remedies are commonly used to treat armpit rash in men.


Medical Treatments

To treat armpit rash, there are various medical treatments available. These include:


  1. Topical retinoids: These can be used to reduce pigmentation and thickening in cases of acanthosis nigricans.
  2. Topical cleansers: These can help cleanse the affected area and prevent bacterial or fungal growth.
  3. Antibiotics: If the rash is caused by a bacterial infection, oral or topical antibiotics may be prescribed.
  4. Oral medications: In more severe cases, oral medications such as corticosteroids or antifungal drugs may be necessary to alleviate symptoms and fight the underlying cause.
  5. Surgical procedures: In instances of hidradenitis suppurativa (HS), surgical intervention might be required to remove infected tissue or drain abscesses.


Home Remedies

To alleviate armpit rashes, you can try the following home remedies:


  • Keep the affected area cool and dry.
  • Apply antibiotic or antifungal creams.
  • Use topical steroids or drying agents.
  • Consider using eczema and dandruff shampoos.
  • Add oatmeal, vinegar, salt, or baking soda to your bathwater.
  • Use unscented, glycerol - based moisturizers.
  • Try coconut oil, topical vitamin B - 12, sunflower oil, or alternative therapies like biofeedback, hypnosis, and acupressure.



Prevention of Armpit Rashes

To prevent armpit rashes, it's important to take certain precautions and maintain good hygiene practices. First and foremost, avoid contact with irritants or allergens that can cause a rash.

This includes avoiding harsh soaps, fragrances, and deodorants that may contain irritating ingredients like propylene glycol. Opt for gentle, fragrance-free products instead.

Keeping the armpits clean and dry is crucial in preventing rashes. After showering or exercising, make sure to thoroughly dry the armpits to minimize moisture buildup. Wearing loose-fitting clothing made of breathable fabrics can also help reduce friction and sweat accumulation.

It's essential to practice regular hair removal techniques carefully to prevent folliculitis or ingrown hairs. If you're prone to these issues, consider alternatives such as just trimming your armpits instead of fully shaving them.


Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is another way to prevent certain types of armpit rashes like acanthosis nigricans (AN), which can be associated with insulin resistance or hormonal irregularities.

For individuals with diabetes, proper blood sugar control is key in managing this condition effectively.

Lastly, if you notice any signs of a developing rash or skin irritation in your armpits, seek prompt medical attention rather than self-diagnosing or attempting home remedies without professional guidance.

Identifying the underlying causes early on will allow for appropriate treatment options and improved outcomes in managing armpit rashes effectively.


When to Consult a Doctor

If you have been dealing with an armpit rash for a long time, it may be necessary to consult a doctor. Sometimes, these rashes can persist for years and require medical treatment. Additionally, if your rash is accompanied by other symptoms such as fever or pain, or if it is not improving with over-the-counter options or home remedies, it is advisable to see a healthcare professional.

Another important factor to consider is the underlying cause of the rash. If it is caused by a chronic condition like psoriasis or diabetes, seeking medical advice will help ensure proper management and treatment.

Lastly, if the armpit rash is causing significant discomfort or interfering with your daily activities, scheduling an appointment with a doctor would be beneficial in finding relief.


In summary:

  • Consult a doctor if the armpit rash persists for years.
  • Seek medical attention if the rash does not improve with over-the-counter treatments.
  • See a healthcare professional if accompanied by other symptoms such as fever or pain.
  • Consider seeking help if there's an underlying chronic condition like psoriasis or diabetes causing the rash.
  • Medical advice should be sought when the armpit rash causes significant discomfort or affects daily activities.


Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about armpit rashes in men? Find answers here!


Should I be worried about a rash in my armpit?

If you have a rash in your armpit, it's natural to be concerned. However, the severity and accompanying symptoms can help determine if you should be worried or not. In many cases, an armpit rash is caused by common conditions such as contact dermatitis or folliculitis, which can usually be treated at home with over-the-counter remedies like anti-inflammatory creams or hydrocortisone cream.

However, certain conditions like hidradenitis suppurativa or cutaneous lymphoma may require medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment. If your rash persists, worsens or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it's best to consult a doctor for guidance.


How do I get rid of a rash under my armpits?

To get rid of a rash under your armpits, there are several steps you can take. First, keep the area clean and dry by washing with a gentle soap and patting it dry. Avoid using any irritating products or fragrances that could worsen the rash.

Applying over-the-counter creams like hydrocortisone can help reduce inflammation and itching. You can also try home remedies such as oatmeal baths or applying vinegar, salt, or baking soda to the affected area.

If the rash persists or gets worse after a few days of self-care, it's important to consult a doctor for further evaluation and treatment options.


What does armpit dermatitis look like?

Armpit dermatitis can have various appearances, but it typically manifests as red, raw, and stinging rashes. The affected area may also develop itchy, prickly bumps that are red in color.

In some cases, contact dermatitis can cause itchy rashes that turn into blisters. Eczema, another form of armpit dermatitis, presents as inflamed skin that is red, itchy, dry, and even releases fluid.

Seborrheic dermatitis often leads to greasy-looking rashes with a reddish tint. It's important to identify the specific symptoms and seek appropriate treatment for relief.


What causes an armpit rash from deodorant?

Deodorant can cause an armpit rash, with contact dermatitis being the most common culprit. Contact dermatitis occurs when the skin reacts to certain substances in the deodorant, triggering an immune response.

This can be either an allergic reaction or irritation from repeated exposure to irritants in the product. In some cases, deodorant can also lead to folliculitis, which is a bacterial infection of hair follicles in the armpits.

Another possible cause of an armpit rash from deodorant is seborrheic dermatitis, a chronic inflammatory condition that causes redness and flaking of the skin.



In conclusion, armpit rashes in men can be caused by various factors such as contact dermatitis, hidradenitis suppurativa, and folliculitis. Treatment options include medical treatments such as topical cleansers and antibiotics, as well as home remedies like keeping the skin folds cool and dry.

If you have a severe or chronic rash or if it doesn't respond to initial treatment, it's important to consult a doctor for further evaluation. Don't hesitate to seek professional help when needed to find relief from armpit rashes.


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